Celtics' Lawson knows that 'top of the world' feeling Team USA's women's soccer team is feeling now

Celtics' Lawson knows that 'top of the world' feeling Team USA's women's soccer team is feeling now

LAS VEGAS -- Most of us can only imagine what the United States’ women’s soccer team is feeling now after winning the World Cup with a 2-0 win over the Netherlands. 

And then there’s Boston Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson who was an integral part of the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning US women’s basketball team. 

Being the last team standing on such a global platform is a feeling few can fully comprehend, and even fewer will experience. 

Count Lawson among the fortunate. 

“It’s incredible,” Lawson told NBC Sports Boston. “People say the phrase ‘top of the world’ all the time. Most of the time they’re not top of the world. Here’s actually where that phrase applies; it’s an amazing feeling.”

Lawson said winning a global championship like the World Cup or an Olympic Gold medal is about more than being the best team during that period of time. 

“It’s an incredible validation of so many things when you get a chance to be part of a world championship team,” Lawson said. “Validation of your path, your upbringing, who helped you get there. validation of the work and time you put in to do that. 

Lawson added, “And then, it’s really validation of your group because forever, you’re that. It’s validation of that group together. So, that feeling, coming from so many different levels of your life individually, as an athlete, life as a group … it’s overwhelming. That’s why you see so many people overcome with emotions because it’s all those things crashing at one time.” 

Lawson, who scored a team-high 15 points in Team USA’s gold medal victory over Australia in the 2008 Olympics, has also won a WNBA title (Sacramento, 2005).

“They’re different,” Lawson said when asked about being part of both championship teams. 

“It’s so difficult to make the Olympic team,” Lawson said. “You know, it’s difficult to make the WNBA but it’s even harder to make it to that next one.”

Lawson also pointed out how winning a championship offers a moment to reflect, at least how it relates to women’s basketball, to embrace being part of a legacy. 

“When you look at the run that we (Team USA women’s basketball team) are currently on; I can see we because I’m part of that ... we’ve won like six straight Olympics," Lawson said. "To feel that, to be part of that, that’s what was most satisfying to me, to see the people who had done it before, to know that you’re name is with them.”

It is a feeling that most of us can only imagine. 

And then there’s the women’s soccer team that’s living in that moment as we speak, following a thrilling run towards a second straight World Cup. 

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NBA Power Rankings: Countdown to the trade deadline

NBA Power Rankings: Countdown to the trade deadline

BOSTON — With the trade deadline right around the corner, a potential power shift is indeed on the horizon. 

What will the Detroit Pistons do with Andre Drummond? 

We’ve spent most of the season talking about Kevin Love being on the move. Will the Cavs find a partner willing to give them the king’s ransom they’ll seek in such a deal?

And then there’s lesser-known talent like Minnesota’s Robert Covington, widely viewed as a potential piece who could provide some added depth for a team whose sights are set on a deep playoff run. 

Let’s not forget about Andre Iguodala, who is on the books in Memphis but hasn’t played a game all season. While he’s a proven impact player as a starter or as a reserve, is rendering a first-round pick too much for the soon-to-be-36-year-old who's also a  former NBA Finals MVP?

Lots of players, lots of questions and we know what that usually means: lots of fireworks and drama on the rumor mill between now and the February 6 trade deadline. 

Click here for this week's NBA Power Rankings.

TD Garden remembers Kobe Bryant with special tribute to Lakers legend

TD Garden remembers Kobe Bryant with special tribute to Lakers legend

As the basketball community tries to process Kobe Bryant's death, TD Garden is doing its best to honor the Los Angeles Lakers legend.

The Boston Celtics' home arena paid tribute to Bryant on Sunday night into Monday morning by lighting up two escalators outside the building in Lakers purple and gold.

According to WBZ News' Nick Giovani, fans left flowers and notes outside the arena to pay tribute to Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles that also killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.

Bryant left an indelible mark on the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, helping Los Angeles defeat Boston in the 2010 NBA Finals two seasons after the C's took down the Lakers to win the 2008 NBA Finals.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Celtics fans chanted Bryant's name and gave the Lakers star a standing ovation during his final game in Boston on Dec. 30, 2015.

The Celtics don't return to TD Garden until Thursday, but the home of Kobe's longtime rival found a way to honor one of the true legends of the sport.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Heat, which begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.